President Trump on Monday called out Bubba Wallace, the black NASCAR driver, and said he should apologize over last month’s “noose” incident that put the sport on edge shortly after banning the Confederate flag at races.
“Has @BubbaWallace apologized to all of those great NASCAR drivers & officials who came to his aid, stood by his side, & were willing to sacrifice everything for him, only to find out that the whole thing was just another HOAX? That & Flag decision has caused lowest ratings EVER!” Trump tweeted.
The FBI investigation last month into claims that NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace was the target of a hate crime after a “noose” was found hanging in his Talladega Superspeedway garage determined that no crime was committed.
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“The FBI report concludes, and photographic evidence confirms, that the garage door pull rope fashioned like a noose had been positioned there since as early as last fall, before Wallace and his crew were assigned to the garage,” a NASCAR statement said.
Trump’s tweet comes after an impassioned and patriotic speech at Mt. Rushmore on Friday where he clearly differentiated himself from Democrats and protesters keen on wiping out the country’s history.
The Associated Press’ report on Trump’s tweet about Wallace (which was co-authored by Jill Colvin, who famously asked Kayleigh McEnany, the White House spokeswoman, if she would promise not to lie during her tenure) took the position of many in the mainstream media and tried to describe Trump as divisive.
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The AP reported that Trump’s recent speeches were an attempt to “dig deeper into America’s divisions by accusing protesters who have pushed for racial justice of engaging in a “merciless campaign to wipe out our country’s history.’”
But perhaps Trump’s opponents in the media see the president building momentum and see that Americans are beginning to question the motivation and influences behind these protests.
The Black Lives Matter movement has been criticized for turning a blind eye to the surging crime waves in major cities across the country. And famous black voices that have taken a public stance—like Colin Kaepernick and Wallace—have been criticized by conservatives of using the movement to promote their own brand at the expense of national unity.
Kaepernick on Monday announced a new deal with Disney to work with “Black and Brown directors, creators, storytellers & producers” to share “culturally impactful and inspiring projects.”
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Wallace took to Twitter to talk about his haters and finished his post, “Always deal with the hate being thrown at you with LOVE! Love over hate every day. Love should come naturally as people are TAUGHT to hate. Even when it’s HATE from the POTUS.”